Commonwealth Court holds that state indictments of illegal activity are not grounds for overturning earlier judgment against Ralph Nader
Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania (LPPA) http://www.lppa.org
Green Party of Pennsylvania (GPPA)
For Immediate Release: December 16, 2008
Contact: Doug Leard (Media Relations) at Media-Relations@lppa.org
Michael Robertson (LPPA Chair) at 1-800-R-RIGHTS / firstname.lastname@example.org
Hillary Aisenstein (GPPA Chair) at 1-267-971-3559 / email@example.com
Harrisburg, PA – The Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania and the Green Party of Pennsylvania denounce the recent Commonwealth Court decision against 2004 independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader and his vice presidential candidate Peter Camejo (Mr. Camejo recently passed away after a battle with cancer).
A grand jury report, which led to the indictment of state House Whip Mike Veon and ten former state House Democratic staffers indicated that Veon led a statewide political operation that used commonwealth resources to run a “massive” effort to oust independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader from the 2004 ballot.
According to the report, as many as 50 Pennsylvania House staff members worked on a challenge to Nader's ballot petition, and more than half received state-funded bonuses, in part for their "Nader efforts.”
On the basis of the report and indictment, Mr. Nader challenged a court ruling holding him accountable for nearly $81,000 in costs to remove him from the ballot.
Although the original judgment appears to be based on a criminal conspiracy, the court ruled that opening or vacating the judgment was not justified and went further to say that Nader’s efforts to comply with Pennsylvania’s extremely restrictive signature requirements were “the most deceitful and fraudulent exercise ever perpetuated” against the court.
"This decision drives yet another nail into the political coffin of challenger parties", said Ken Krawchuk, a two-time Libertarian candidate for Pennsylvania Governor. "First they force us to collect thirty-three times as many signatures to get on the statewide ballot, then they fine us $80,000-plus for the trying, and now they say it's okay for our elected officials to break the law to crush free elections. It's bad enough being ground into the dust under the heel of criminal oppression, but the saddest part of all is that there is no public outcry, no disgust, no anger. Pennsylvania voters are letting them get away with it! It seems as if no one cares any longer about the rule of law. I fear for our future as a free people."
Hillary Aisenstein, GPPA Chair said "It's absolutely astounding to me that in the face rampant fraud and corruption by the Democratic Party, the Court is still ruling against Nader. If they want to see 'deceitful and fraudulent,' they should take a look in the mirror."
LPPA Chair Michael Robertson added “Not only should Mr. Nader not have been assessed fees at all, but it is a complete travesty of justice that he should be assessed fees as a result of the criminal activity against him. He was victimized by the criminals and then again by the justice system.”